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Hot-Flashing With Mom

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My mom and I share something in common, which we shouldn’t at this point in our lives. We are both dealing with menopause and hormone replacement therapy. You see, although I am only 34, I am now in surgical menopause, due to my endometriosis diagnosis and subsequent surgeries. My mom who is in her 50s (err, I mean late 20s) is dealing with natural onset menopause.

I've heard women complain about menopause my whole life. We all have at one time or another. However, to personally experience the annoying symptoms like mood swings, brain fog and hot flashes (which I’ve personally termed haute flash for my trendy self) is priceless.

I never expected to be dealing with this in my 30s. I always thought I’d have to face it many, many years in the future, at a time when the sequined tracksuit would be my outfit of choice. However, due to circumstances beyond my control, I had to have surgery, and I am now facing this head on.

After entering surgical menopause, earlier this year, I became worried about aging too rapidly. I knew that until my hormone levels were figured out, I was going to be one haute woman. I got online and read all of the horrifying symptoms that hit women in the throes of menopause. Subsequently, I went on beard and moustache watch, convinced I was going to have to share razors with my husband. I went out and bought a wide range of wrinkle creams, worried that I would suddenly wake up with crow’s feet and frown lines. I watched for age spots, thinking I could somehow catch them as soon as they made an appearance on my skin.

Every time my husband walked into our bathroom, he would find me plastered against the mirror examining my face or looking for a gray hair. He would reassure me that I was attractive, but I was absolutely convinced I was going to age overnight, and it terrified me.

When many women go through menopause, later in life, their moms aren’t around to offer advice and support. I feel fortunate that I can navigate these treacherous waters with my mother. We can compare haute flash horror stories and laugh at each other when we talk about putting cereal boxes in the fridge or losing our keys for the hundredth time. She reassures me that menopause isn’t the end of the world and that all women have to deal with it at some point.

While I truly don’t want to get old, or look old for that matter, I’ve learned to embrace it. I do my best to take care of myself and try not to obsess over the aging process. Age truly is a frame of mind. I can sit around and feel sorry for myself, or I can laugh at the hilarious impact surgical menopause has had on my life.

I’m kind of fortunate, in a way, because I don’t have to fear menopause. I’m dealing with it right now and doing just fine. I am here to say, to others in my age group, that menopause isn’t a death sentence. If I get an early wrinkle, gray hair, or age spot, I will just handle it like everything else in my life. And you know, sequined tracksuits are pretty awesome.

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